It would be an understatement to say that I have gotten used to witnessing contradictions in the soteriology of the “Primitive” Baptists. Some of these however are only noticeable to those who have put under the microscope the weightier doctrines of scripture. Yet this latest one I stumbled upon (though I’ve known about it for many years) is so blatantly obvious that only one who is inseparably wedded to his beliefs would refuse to acknowledge it.
On the website www.pbgrace.org are many articles, two of which are called ‘Saved by Grace, but Whose Faith?’ and ‘The Christ of Arminianism’.
In the first the author writes regarding Ephesians 2:8-9:
“Faith is not man’s contribution to salvation but the gift of Christ which He sovereignly imparts in regeneration. (John 3:3, John 6:44 & 65, John 15:16, Acts 11:18, Rom. 9:16, Eph. 2:1, Eph. 2:8-10, Phil. 1:29, Heb. 12:2)
In the second however faith is handled differently. From the exact same passage!!!
“The faith under consideration then, cannot be yours. It is not your faith that saves you, and the next verse tells us that – ‘and that not of yourselves.’ (Verse 9)
As we’ve shown it can’t be our faith, we conclude this is the faith God had in His son, Jesus, to fulfill the agreement made before the world was formed. Christ was faithful to be that sacrifice and pay that price.”
So there you have it. A contradiction of which I need not convince you, but one plainly set before the eyes. On the exact same website the faith of Eph. 2:8 is claimed to be what Hardshells refer to as seed faith in one article, but in the other it is said to be the faith which God had in His Son.
Well, which one is it sir? Are we saved thru “seed faith”, or are we saved thru “the faith God had in His Son”? Which one is necessary to be saved?
The idea that there is a subconscious faith imparted in regeneration is the traditional Hardshell interpretation of Ephesians 2:8 offered instead of evangelical faith…you know, the “kind” spoken about in chapter one. It's called context folks. Look into it.
The other idea, God having faith in His Son, is a persuasion believed by a minority, but may be growing in acceptance. If it is, what does this mean for the future? It is no secret that some of the PBs strongly object to the idea that God has faith. Will those ministers who remain firm in their position that seed faith is the proper apologetic response to the notion that saving faith comes thru the gospel begin to ridicule those who defer rather to some faith emanating from God. Or vice versa?
Will this matter be “carried to the association”, or will these diverse opinions among them continue to be tolerated? If the latter, then it will prove only one thing. Hardshells are not really concerned about being of one mind with regards to which exact “kind” of faith is necessary to be saved, whether it be some faith which we have or God has. The only thing that really matters is that an anti-gospel, anti-means conclusion is reached, which both viewpoints, though opposing, provide.